City of Kirkland Issues Website Redesign RFP
The objectives and design preferences for the Explore Kirkland tourism website are:
• Provide a simple, effective user experience
• Inspire visits to Kirkland by utilizing contemporary design and site navigation, showcasing imagery and incorporating the latest functionality trends.
• Provide intuitive and easy to use navigation
• Work as an effective planning and reference tool for visitors already in Kirkland
• Yield high search engine ranking for applicable search terms
• Track user behavior and adapt to changing visitor trends and website tool integrations
• Motivate users to visit Kirkland in the shoulder season of October-April
The qualified consultant, individuals or firm will work collaboratively with stakeholders on the website design team that include:
• Explore Kirkland Tourism Program Marketing Team
• City of Kirkland Communications Team
• City of Kirkland Webmaster
• Explore Kirkland PR Consultants
• City of Kirkland’s Intergovernmental Relations and Economic Development Manager
Kirkland is a vibrant waterfront destination with an unparalleled blend of outdoor recreation, art, dining and boutique shopping. Nestled at the doorstep of the Cascades, Kirkland is located on the shores of Lake Washington just east of Seattle. No other city in the Puget Sound region has as many waterfront parks and beaches as Kirkland. The city is home to award-winning hotels, a 400-seat performing arts center, wineries and restaurants. Kirkland hosts a dynamic repertoire of events spanning art openings and performances to athletic events, wine festivals and outdoor concerts.
Kirkland’s park system includes over 600 acres of parkland and open spaces, including community and neighborhood parks and natural areas. Kirkland is fortunate to have several large parks owned by other public agencies that are within, or adjacent to its city limits, offering access to an additional 366 acres of quality parks and recreational activities. These sites include Saint Edward State Park, Bridle Trails State Park, Big Finn Hill Park, O.O. Denny Park and a number of school facilities with sport fields and indoor gymnasiums. Nearly 20 miles of trails and park paths connect people to parks, neighborhoods, other community destinations and to a vast network of regional trails.
In 2018, Kirkland was named Best City by 425 Magazine and Money Magazine ranked Kirkland #5 in its 2014 Best Places to Live in America issue.
The City of Kirkland’s Tourism program, Explore Kirkland, is funded by Lodging Excise Taxes and is overseen by the City Manager’s Office. The Tourism Development Committee, which serves as the City’s Lodging Tax Advisory Committee, provides recommendations on the use of the lodging tax funds and helps guide program priorities. The program is managed by the City’s Intergovernmental Relations and Economic Development Manager. The primary goal of Kirkland’s Tourism Program is to attract visitors from 50 or more miles away to stay in Kirkland’s lodging establishments.
The primary markets for Explore Kirkland are:
1. Leisure Travelers
2. Business Travelers
3. Professional Meeting Planners
4. Prospective Residents
Scope of Work:
Preferred functionality to incorporate in the redesign and optimization of www.explorekirkland.com
Preferred features and functions of the redesigned www.explorekirkland.com site may include but not be limited to:
• Updated website design with photo features and video capability/integration that evokes a positive emotional response from visitors and is compatible across all platforms and devices
• Develop a strategic hierarchy of pages and content that results in visitors being able to easily find the information they desire, be enticed to spend a longer time exploring the site and be inspired to visit Kirkland.
• Responsive design across all mobile devices that leverages a customizable possibly open source CMS to manage digital assets and maintain content
• Incorporates latest search engine optimization tools and techniques
• Integrated analytic tracking system
• Intuitive easy-to-use management console for non-technical, in-house content managers
• Fast load speed
• Facilitates easy social media integration (e.g., Instagram, Facebook)
• Supports 360 video format
• Site search capability
• A directory and event listing section that supports external user submission (including photos), and allows for in-house edits and approval as well as future edit capabilities
• Secure back-end partner portal for business resources and media library
• Map incorporation using an interactive map overlay
• Enhanced events Calendar Page with filter functions (date, type, location, season) and back- end user-friendly submission capability
• Ability to like or add items for itinerary building and sharing
• Ability to filter and sort events and listings by categories (e.g., what, where, when, who: Kids, Adults, Groups, Dogs, Happy Hours, Outdoor Seating, Waterview and popular, newest, alpha, location)
• Ability to automate related suggestions and travel tips to existing page content and listing
• Itineraries and Travel Tips with map incorporation
• Ability for users to share or export content via email or social media
• Meets compliancy needs for government managed website *see below
The City of Kirkland envisions a collaborative multi-phase process for the redesign and optimization of www.explorekirkland.com with phases and deliverables suggested below. The selected consultant will work with the City to develop and use detailed prelaunch, launch, and post-launch checklists to best achieve delivery of the website redesign on-time and in-budget.
• Phase 1: Design and Build
o Evaluate current website analytics for insights on redesign
o Pre-testing of user group to validate goals of website
o Review the design team’s proposed site hierarchy and offer suggestions for improved user experience and goals of the tourism program
o Review design team’s desires for page layouts and propose wireframes and page layouts to develop and finalize page templates
o Review design teams list of functionality requests and identify plugins and widget integrations that could meet the desired functional needs
o Work to identify a suitable CMS platform to host content
o Prioritize site feature and functionality roadmap to support project budget
o Build webpage templates
o Embed comprehensive analytics tracking into webpages
• Phase 2: Content Development and Upload
o Evaluate draft content for SEO and provide suggestions
o Provide standards for media formats to optimize SEO
o Provide standards for media organization in CMS
o Draft compelling communication to tourism businesses to provide content for website
• Phase 3: Test/Evaluate
o Quality assurance testing
o Identify test user group
o Communicate responsibility of user group in testing website
o Analyze and incorporate feedback from user group
o Analyze user group behavior flow and propose and incorporate changes to meet goals of the website
o Incorporate requirements of City of Kirkland Information Technology audit
• Phase 4: Launch
o Provide a website launch promotional plan complete with digital advertising opportunities
o Provide a proposed annual digital advertising plan to attract visitors to the website
o Training and documentation for internal staff and business partners. Such documentation should be sufficient for technical staff to manage and improve the site into the future and for other city staff to effectively manage content, understand usage, and otherwise support the site.
• Phase 5: Annual Audit/Maintenance schedule
o Provide a suggested schedule and annual budget for user behavior audit, content audit for SEO and maintenance of website to ensure optimal functionality, behavior, SEO and capitalize on evolving website trends and improvements
o Quality assurance testing schedule
o Consultation and Support Service
May 31st, 2019.
Purchasing Agent, Finance Department, 123 – 5th Ave, Kirkland WA, 98033
MWWPR and Zeno Group are agencies worth considering for this assignment.